Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin (UK) publishers for my ARC of this book.
Marianne Baker is happy. Sort of.
She’s worked at the same job for years (nearly 15, but who’s counting), she lives at home with her mum (who is driving her crazy) and sleeps in a single bed (yep, her love life is stalled). Playing the violin is her only real passion – but nobody like her does that for a living.
Then one night everything changes.
The father who abandoned Marianne as a child turns up on her doorstep, with a shocking secret that changes her life forever.
Suddenly Marianne’s safe, comfortable world is shattered. If her father isn’t the man she thought he was, then who is he? And, more to the point, who is she?
It’s time to find out who the real Marianne Baker is.
Up until I received this book I was unaware of Jemma Forte’s work so I didn’t have any expectations. To be honest it wouldn’t have mattered if I had because this book was simply lovely. It’s so well written and has a very down to earth nature. I think in a way I can relate to Marianne, the main character, who spends her days working in a job she doesn’t even like just so she can save the money to travel and see the world.
She convinces the world and everyone in it that she is happy as she is and content with how her life is panning out but this couldn’t be further from the truth as Marianne is a super talented violinist who only plays for herself and doesn’t believe that she is any good. When her father Ray, a man she never knew enter her life one night, everything changes and Marianne is taken on a whirlwind of emotions as she gets to know the man she will end up loving unconditionally until the very end.
It’s been a while since a book has reduced me to tears but this book definitely had me reaching for the tissues. It’s emotional, sad, and poignant and deals with some very distressing but very real circumstances. But as well as all this there is a bitter sweet side as Ray has helped mend Marianne and the family in a way she never thought possible.
The other characters are funny, frustrating and downright annoying all at the same time. Hayley, Marianne’s sister is downright ignorant and self obsessed, her mum Alison is just plain crazy and when Andy comes to stay it makes my blood boil. As with any book there is characters that are so frustrating that you could just scream but they, in a way ,make a story complete because life isn’t plain sailing and we meet all sorts of characters along the way, both good and bad.
Without spoiling the story too much, the book has a very bitter sweet ending. It takes tragedy, grief and unbelievable sadness for people to realise exactly what they have and that they should fight for it. As the end nears, relationships are formed and fixed, hearts are broken and mended as most of all family and friends rally around when its necessary and make you realise that we have nothing without the people we love.
This lovely book gets 5 stars from me and Jemma Forte has a new fan! A must read for 2015!